One server found a perfect use for the viral old age filter: to remind people that she’s not actually old.
In her now-viral video, Kaylah (@evanpetersbathwater), 17, said that she’s often mistaken for being older than she is. As of Tuesday afternoon, her video had over 1.5 million views.
Or if in like 20 like please stop im abt to go into cardiac arrest.♬ original sound – Taavetti
“When customers ask me if I’m married or have kids (I was born in 05),” Kaylah wrote via text overlay. She used the aging filter on herself for comedic effect.
“Like please stop im abt to go into cardiac arrest,” she added in the accompanying caption.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Kaylah via TikTok comment. As of publication, it was unclear where Kaylah worked as a server or how common these interactions were.
But in the comments section, a number of women claimed to know this exact struggle.
“last yr some lady told me happy mother’s day. i was 16,” one person shared.
“me every time i get called ‘senora’ and ‘ma’am,’” another quipped.
“The stress they put on us be aging us like crayy,” a third commenter added.
“Like I’m just a child,” a fourth person said.
In general, addressing a woman with “ma’am” is considered polite. However, it can evoke the opposite reaction in others. It’s been written before that being called “ma’am” can set off young women who think it indicates that they’re no longer young. In an interview with CNN, Kelly Elizabeth Wright, an experimental sociolinguist and lexicographer at Virginia Tech, encouraged young women being called “ma’am”—or those asked similar age-related questions—to push back.
“You can’t control how people see you, but you have a right to assert how you’d like to be seen,” Wright said. “The only way these things move forward is through constant reassertion.”